Moran Asks Metro to Remove Ad Telling President to Go to Hell - NBC4 Washington
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Moran Asks Metro to Remove Ad Telling President to Go to Hell



    Backlash Over Anti-Obama Metro Ad

    Virginia congressman Jim Moran is asking WMATA to remove what he calls an offensive ad from the Clarendon Metro Station. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012)

    An anti-Obama Care ad at a Virginia Metro station has drawn the ire of a congressman from the commonwealth.

    Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) wrote Metro a letter asking the transit agency to remove an ad attacking the health reform law and telling President Barack Obama to “Go to hell.”

    The ad is for a movie called “Sick & Sicker,” in which writer, director, producer and host “Logan Darrow Clements shows what happens when ‘the government becomes your doctor’ using licensed news footage from Canadian TV, interviews with doctors, patients, journalists, a health minister, a Member of Parliament, a doctor who went on a hunger strike as well the producer's own Canadian relatives.”

    “This advertisement is inappropriate, disrespectful of the president and should be removed immediately,” Moran said. “The families with children and thousands of tourists who take Metro everyday should not be subjected to such garbage.  I understand WMATA vets these advertisements before allowing them to go up, but it seems someone wasn’t doing their job when this ad was approved.”

    But the ad is protected by the Constitution, Metro said in a statement Wednesday afternoon:

    “WMATA advertising has been ruled by the courts as a public forum protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and we may not decline ads based on their political content. WMATA does not endorse the advertising on our system, and ads do not reflect the position of the Authority.”

    In his letter to Metro GM and CEO Richard Sarles, Moran says he accepts political ads should be allowed in the Metro system but says this ad shouldn't be acceptable under "minimum standards of decency."

    The ad that caught Moran’s attention is at the end of a Clarendon Metro Station platform in Arlington.

    "We should not be having ads that are totally inappropriate for the public to be seeing, telling the president to go to hell and suggesting people get an Obama-ectomy or something," Moran told News4's Jane Watrel. "It troubles me that Metro allows this to be shown."

    Moran wants the public to weigh in on the ad, Watrel reported.

    "People of whatever political persuasion should not have to deal with ads that are clearly over the top," he said.

    It's unclear how long that ad will remain on display at the Clarendon station, a Metro spokesman said. It's also unclear if the ad has been posted in other stations.